Ben Roethlisberger didn't beat around the bush when talking about the Jaguars defense, a unit that finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the AFC and No. 2 in the NFL.
"This is one of the best defenses I've ever played against," said Roethlisberger. "It's everything. There is not one thing. Pass rush, linebackers, secondary, their stats. You look at what they put on paper, on tape this year. I think that speaks for themselves."
When it comes to their pass defense, Roethlisberger knows how good they are. They have two All-Pro cornerbacks in Jalen Ramsey (first team) and A.J. Bouye (second team) leading their top-ranked pass defense, and in the regular season meeting the Jaguars intercepted Roethlisberger five times, returning two of them for touchdowns.
"Preparing for these guys is never easy," said Roethlisberger. "They are the best defense in the league for a reason. I just know these guys are extremely talented."
The challenge they bring. Well, let's just say everything.
"Trying to beat them, trying to get open and trying to throw a pass they won't intercept," said Roethlisberger matter-of-factly.
In addition to talking about the Jaguars defense, Roethlisberger hit on a variety of other topics.
On the offense evolving since the first meeting with the Jaguars:
"Hopefully we have all gotten better as the season has gone on."
On the atmosphere at Heinz Field on Sunday:
"I expect it to be a packed house. Loud. I expect them to have a lot of fun. Any time you get extra football at Heinz Field the fans enjoy it and we do too."
On if the cold weather has an impact on him:
"Hurts a little more when you get hit. Sometimes it can make it more difficult to throw the ball. I am a Northwest Ohio guy, I have lived here a long time, I am kind of used to it."
On if he will savor this game a little more knowing with every offseason it could be his last game at Heinz Field:
"You have to treat every game like it could be your last, because you never know when it is. We saw an example of that earlier in the season with Ryan (Shazier). You never know when it could be your last. Hoping it's not his last. You have to go out and play every play, and enjoy every play and game, like it's your last."
On if he thinks it is his last game at Heinz Field:
"I am not thinking about that right now. I don't think it is my last. I am not thinking about that. I am going out to play this one and give it everything I have."
On if there is more motivation playing Jacksonville since they won the earlier matchup:
"It's the postseason. I'll play anybody in the postseason. Just the opportunity to get here is what it should mean to everybody and how special it is. I am sure everybody is excited."
On if his playoff experience is an edge:
"Hopefully a little bit. You played in a lot of them. You still treat it like a football game. It's a little bit faster each game. The further you go means a little bit more. Hopefully we can use that experience to my advantage."